Every now and again, I experience a perfect moment. Tonight I had one of those.
Normally at Ella's bedtime, I'm in such a rush to get her through her bedtime routine so I can have some quiet time myself. Bath, diaper, pajamas, teeth brushed, book read, nurse, bed- we have it down to an exact science by now.
Perhaps it's because of her looming first birthday, or perhaps because of all the changes in our lives right now, but tonight I slowed things down, and we did things on her time. We splashed around in the tub until her fingers were pruned and she was done playing. We cuddled up together and read her book, and I continued reading while she was nursing.
She ended up falling asleep in the middle of the book, and I read to her for a while longer. I thought about putting her down in her crib. Instead, I held her up against me and tried to memorize everything about that moment to hold in store for a time when she's too old to want to snuggle up with her mommy. The softness of her hair, and how it dries in every direction. How her face squishes up against my arm. The way her mouth hangs half-open, and the little snores she occasionally gives. Her still-tiny hand, clutching at my shirt. How all the troubles and worries of the world seem to melt away when I am holding that soft, comforting little body up against mine.
As your daddy says to you every night, "Good night, sleep tight, we'll see you in the morning light."